Helping Kids–And Parents– Cope With Back-To-School Anxiety


Kathleen Minke, Paige Trevor, Kojo Nnamdi, Tia Breckenridge, LaNia Mitchell

As I sat waiting, and for the first 10 minutes of the Kojo Show last week, I got to PRACTICE anxiety management tools. I knew this new experience was 'Nourishing Stress' (click to read up on the difference between 'nourishing stress' and 'junk food stress') so here's what I did:

1. Unclench: Dr. Ken Ginsburg who wrote "Letting Go With Love and Confidence", said one surefire way to release stress is to workout your gluteus maximums. It sounds crazy, but when you are stressed (and you can't get up and do lunges) unclench your derriere. Driving over a bridge, unclench. Taking an AP test, unclench. Stuck in traffic, unclench. Four-year-old having a tantrum, unclench. Sounds crazy, works like a charm.

2. Six.One.Seven: I learned a new breathing technique this summer, breathe in for six seconds, hold for one second, breathe out for seven seconds. Six.One.Seven. Learn, use it, love it!

3. GEMEINSCHAFTSGEFÜHL: Say what?! This is a concept I learned at the Parent Encouragement Program (thank you PEP for giving me the opportunity to be on Kojo!). It translates as 'community feeling' or social interest. The idea is our mental health is DIRECTLY related to our interest in OTHERS (not ourselves). Instead of paying attention to my critical self-talk, I turned outward and used my energy to listen to the other panelists, focus on what they had to offer, nod and smile, and LEARN SOMETHING!

At about the 12 minute mark I was enjoying myself, my heart had slowed down, I was in the actual moment and ready to listen, talk, react, absorb, laugh and enjoy.

What a gift . . . use anxiety tools WHILE talking about anxiety!